Edward James McGrath
Contoocook, NH — Edward James McGrath passed away on September 15, 2022 at the age of 96 surrounded by his loving family. Ed was born on October 23, 1925 in Beverly, Massachusetts, the first of five children to Edward and Mildred (MacKinnon) McGrath. Raised in Danvers, Massachusetts, he attended local schools and graduated from Holten High School in 1943. After graduating, he was drafted into the US Army. After basic training, Ed served in Europe during World War II with the 542nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion. He served in the European Theater of Operations from 1944 to 1946 and helped clean up after World War II as a military police officer.
After the war, Ed began his career at Sylvania Electric in Danvers, MA. He worked for Sylvania in various positions for 44 years until his retirement in 1992. While working for Sylvania and raising his children, Ed attended night school at Northeastern University, where he earned his degree in business administration.
In 1948 he married Marie Kelly and the couple had three sons. In 1959 he married Maureen Crowdis and had three sons and a daughter. The couple lived in Beverly and Ipswich, MA until 1971 when Ed was transferred to the Sylvania facility in Hillsborough, NH. This led to the couple and their four young children relocating to Contoocook, NH. They quickly became involved in many community activities. Ed served as a member of the library’s board of trustees. During his tenure, today’s Hopkinton Town Library was built. In 1979, Ed and Maureen founded McGrath Real Estate and served the community until Maureen’s death in 1994. After some heart surgery, Ed started running in his late 50’s and continued jogging/walking into his early 90’s. Ed coached many of the Hopkinton baseball and basketball teams that his children played on.
Ed was a friendly family man with a quick sense of humor. He enjoyed sports and was a fan of the New England athletic teams. He also enjoyed bowling, golf and movies. He was an avid reader and enjoyed playing cards, especially poker games with his friends. Ed was self-taught. He’s started (and completed!) many home improvement projects over the years. An animal lover, he treasured spending time with his favorite dog, a yellow Labrador named Hobbs. Ed’s greatest joy in life was his family. He adored his children and was a proud and loving grandfather. The kids fondly remember family camping trips at White Lake State Park in Tamworth, NH. He attended many games over the years and loved watching his grandchildren compete in their chosen sport. He was happiest when the whole family got together for celebrations, especially birthday parties and holiday gatherings.
Ed married Gwennie Peters in 1998. Ed and Gwen loved to travel and have been able to take many trips to Europe, the Caribbean Islands and across the United States. Ed especially loved river cruises. The couple bought a home in Naples, Florida, where they spent the winter months enjoying new friends and the activities in their retirement community.
Ed was a predeceased of Maureen, his loving wife of 35 years, brother Brian, and sisters Constance and Susan. He is survived by his devoted and loving wife Gwen, his sister Nancy Grillo, his seven children, son Edward James of Topeka, KS and children son Evan and daughter Callie, son Thomas and his wife Suzanne of Wilmington, MA and their daughters Kelly and Ashley, a great-grandson Colin Edward, son Kevin and his wife Patty from Harwich, MA, son George and his wife Arlene (Pinkos) from Hopkinton, NH and their children Michael, Kevin and Maurgan, son Paul and his wife Laura (Hourihan ) of Scarborough, ME and their daughters Kinnon, Victoria and Adeline, son Timothy of Scarborough, ME, and daughter Susan of Portsmouth, NH. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to invite friends and family to a memorial service to be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 24 at the Contoocook United Methodist Church, followed by a reception. The funeral will be a private family service at Contoocook Village Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Hopkinton Town Library, Granite VNA Hospice House, or the Contoocook Methodist Church Mission Project.
Published by Concord Monitor on September 18, 2022.